Thursday, March 15, 2007"Celebrate Diversity"
...reads a popular left-wing bumper sticker. I like this sticker for certain reasons. I like it even more when I apply it towards the Catholic world. I kind of want a sticker that reads, "Celebrate Catholic Diversity"... hmm.
The Universal Church has so much diversity, not just in race and culture but in callings, in work, in roles we play in society! I think that it is especially important to remember that within the world of families there is also, and should be, diversity! It sounds simple and obvious, but too often I see families aspiring to be too much like eachother. I've seen this within my own heart and mind at times, too... when I say to myself, well, so-and-so doesn't do this. Or, well, this family would do this. Why don't we? I have since, in the realization (wow!!) that it was not fruitful or edifying to think in this way, altered my mindset and converted it to: What is OUR FAMILY called to be? What are WE called to do?
Each family has it's own charisma. Each family is called to be different in it's own way! What if we all tried to be like each other and there was no diversity? The Catholic world would be a boring, bland place... it would be a production farm of only one kind of produce, not a beautiful field of wildflowers, each flower blooming in it's own way.
I would venture to say that although learning from one an other's examples and looking up to each others' families, it is indeed dangerous to the individual growth of our families to think too much along the lines of, "I want to be like them", in a sense. Perhaps one family is called to pray 3 times a day together... while it may not be another family's calling. It may be one one family's calling to live on a farm and to home school, but another family's calling to live in the middle of the city and go to soccer practice and gymnastics. How boring the world would be, if all the Catholic families lived on farms. How boring it would be if all the Catholic families lived in a suburb and went to Catholic schools. Not only would it be boring, but it just wouldn't make sense! It makes more sense to me that our Lord would want us in the marketplace, in the garden, in the country club, in the poor neighborhood, in the rich neighborhood... in the schools, in the local baseball team. How else can we witness to our faith and be the salt of the earth?
There isn't a right way of living, of raising children, of family culture. But there is One right way, and that is the way our Lord has intended for each family alone. It is the individual, little way of each family in itself. It wouldn't be very productive if we were to always be wishing we were "that other family". We need to direct our minds and hearts to our own little families and let our Lord fashion them in His image, handing our homes, our little Nazareths, over to Him. We need to let our families become what He intends them to become.
Celebrate Catholic Diversity!! ;)
~Sia, Vancouver, WA